An Attempt at Plus Ones

Opted out of the running group this morning, and the manic middle-distance workouts they favor, wanting to take care of a tender right adductor.* Decided to try my hand at the “plus ones” workout, as written about by Mario Fraioli at As he states, it’s a bit of a hybrid — part descending ladders, part fartlek. Fraioli says this workout develops a couple of key racing abilities and I’d have to agree — at least on the strength of feeling pretty challenged. That’s an understatement, actually, as I aborted the workout.

Here are the hard working parts of the workout. Descending intervals at roughly 5k pace, followed by a recovery jog for half the time (not included here), then followed by a minute at 15-20 seconds faster per mile pace and 3 minutes recovery jog.

  1. 5:02 @ 6:21 min/mile
  2. 1:01 @ 5:54 min/mile
  3. 4:02 @ 6:23 min/mile
  4. 1:01 @ 6:03 min/mile
  5. 3:03 @ 6:19 min/mile
  6. 1:02 @ 6:15 min/mile
  7. 1:12 @ 6:40 min/mile

As you can see, by the last interval, which should have been 2 minutes, things had deteriorated substantially, and even before that the “faster” one minute segment was lagging — so I decided to cut the workout short. While that’s never encouraging, I’m just writing it off as a bad day and have a few theories about why it didn’t go so well.

  1. The pace was aggressive. My last 5k was run at 6:30 pace. I’m still undecided if this is my true current 5k pace, but today is obviously not the day to figure that out.
  2. I brought Gatorade with me. The powdered kind you mix yourself. I may have mixed it a little too thick, stomach felt a little off.
  3. I took some old salt tablets earlier. Can you see that I love to experiment with supplements? How old can salt get, anyway?
  4. I was running in the afternoon heat. I haven’t been running in the afternoon or the heat, lately.
  5. Breathing felt off. Not sure why.
  6. I was just bumping up against my laziness again.

I’d like to try this again on a morning run, use it as a benchmark workout. It was quite challenging and it would be fun to do when feeling more up to the challenge. Don’t think I’ll be up to facing an early morning jaunt with the running group tomorrow. Maybe just an easy 10 or something…

*One might rightly ask why I would choose this workout, if my adductor is sore. Well, it’s not that sore, and 5k pace is challenging, but not explosive. It’s explosive sprinting I wanted to avoid.


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